Soton students: Here’s how you can vote to get a partial refund of halls fees

Freshers in Manchester have already been given a 30 per cent refund for semester one

SUSU has launched an All Student Vote on whether the University should offer a partial refund of halls accommodation fees to all Soton students currently in University halls.

An email was sent this morning to Soton students. Students will be able to vote whether they are for or against the following statement:

“The University should offer a partial refund of halls accommodation fees to all students in University halls, to reflect the time that students have not spent in their halls because of the student travel window and the staggered return to campus in January.”

In the email, SUSU went on to say: “Although we recongnise that circumstances have been beyond the University’s control, if students have followed Government guidance they will have left halls early in December and returned late in January, so it is unfair that they should pay halls accommodation fees for that period. We believe the Univeristy should recognise this by offering a refund of accommodation to students.”

Earlier this month, the government announced a travel window in which all university students were told to go home for Christmas between 3rd and 9th December.

Recently, the government has also announced a staggered return for university students for next semester, with some not returning until February – meaning being told not to be at uni for a whole two months. Soton students received an email from Student Communications earlier this month setting out three categories to help students decide when to return to campus in 2021:

“1. If you have face-to-face teaching schedule from week commencing 4 January, you are expected to return to campuses in time for that teaching.

2. If you have in-person assessments in January, you are expected to return so you can be present at those assessments.

3. If neither of the above options apply to you, we are advising you to return to campus in time for the start of semester 2, which is from 1 February.”

A few weeks ago, the Manchester rent strikers won a 30 per cent reduction on semester one’s rent for all students living in halls. Bristol has also decided to give students in halls a 30 per cent rebate for seven weeks, to compensate for government-mandated staggered return to campus

Whether you are for or against the statement, you can vote here. Voting will close on Friday 8 January at 1pm.

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